I stopped by at about 9:30 pm and had a chance to speak with Dave Leon, one of their owners. Leon has been working on opening not only the Yost but also the Velvet Lounge. I thought he might be quite frazzled, having spent all Saturday trying to get everything done to the satisfaction of the City of Santa Ana’s Planning Department. But Leon was just relieved, more than anything else, and he had to be happy to see how many folks came to the Yosts’ grand opening. Continue reading
I met with Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido today at noon, and we had a chance to discuss the Artists Village, amongst other topics. In the course of our conversation Mayor Pulido shared his schedule with me and gave me permission to discuss it here. Remember that Mayor Pulido is a part-time Mayor. Here is how he spent this morning:
- 8:30 am: Met with City Staff to discuss the Go Local Project
- 9 am: Met with Roy Alvarado and George Collins to discuss the Harbor Blvd. Corridor
- 9:20 am: Met with Shirley Grindle to discuss the Bike Trail near the Discovery Science Center and Santiago Park
- 10 am: Met with Dennis Lluy, David Leon, Ryan Chase, Gil Marrero, Irv Chase and Councilwoman Michele Martinez to discuss the direction of nightlife in the Downtown, and the dance ordinance
- 10:20 am: Met with Gary Kutscher, Angie Rowe, and Scott Baugh to discuss the O.C. Marathon
- 10:40 am: Met with Ray Estrella and Robert Maniaci to discuss a Veteran housing project
- 11 am: Met with Jody Johansen and Chris Roelle to meet and greet the new FBA President
- 11:20 am: Met with Armando de la Libertad to be introduced to a Santa Ana resident who is a CAD designer who designs skateboard parks
- 11:40 am: Met with Carlos Benitez to discuss projects related to the Federacion de Clubs Guerrenses
- and 12:20 pm – Spoke on the phone with Charmayne Bacon and Ken Brown re Climate Communities and USCM
Many city staffers were involved in these meetings, including Jill Arthur, SAPD Chief Paul Walters, Gerardo Mouet, Mark Lawrence, Jay Trevino and Lt. Mike McCoy.
What a day! And Pulido still has an afternoon full of additional appointments to work through.
We are fortunate to have a Mayor who can spend so much time on city business. Mayor Pulido made it clear that he is available to talk to anyone who wants to meet with him with regard to city business. If you want to meet with him contact Becky Magallon, at City Hall, at BMagallon@santa-ana.org. She is an Executive Assistant to City Manager Dave Ream.
It has been a long, expensive road, but Dennis Lluy is set to open the newly renovated Yost Theater in April of this year, according to his website. The Chase family, who own the Yost, are adding a restaurant and bar service to the historic venue, under Lluy’s direction.
One would think this would be a proud moment for the City of Santa Ana, but Anaheim blogger Gabriel San Roman wrote yet another post about the Yost, over at the OC Weekly this time, questioning Lluy’s motives.
Did the City of Santa Ana rip off the original owners of the Yost, the Olivos family, when they were compelled to sell the Yost, back in 1985, as they could not afford the renovations that City officials deemed necessary? Yes, it would appear so. However, that cannot be reversed. Isn’t it time to move on? Continue reading
Dennis Lluy, the hardworking manager of the revived Yost Theater, is going to appear before the Santa Ana Planning Commission tomorrow, Monday, August 23, at 6:30 pm, to ask for permission to allow a restaurant with a Type 47 ABC license, after hours operation and a banquet facility at the Yost Theater/Ritz Hotel buildings at 301-307 North Spurgeon Street, located in the Downtown (DT) zoning district. Click here to read the Planning Commission’s Agenda.
Lluy is asking for help in getting this item approved. He offered this explanation today about the current status of the Yost, on our sister blog, the Orange Juice:
I have been renovating the Yost for the past couple of years and invested my life savings and countless hours dealing with permits, safety issues, and general renovations. The property owners have also invested well over a million dollars since the eighties. The Yost was in dire need of structural upgrades that would help keep the building from collapsing in a major earthquake when they purchased the building.
We have hosted many community events when construction allows. Recently, we have had to stall because at any point we will move on replacing the structural supports that keeps the roof over the stage from collapsing. We have been waiting for the city to approve our plans for several months now. They are short staffed and this keeps us from booking events more than 3 weeks out.
Furthermore, the Yost is restricted from hosting many types of events until all the permits are approved.
The history of the Yost is a sad one. The property was taken from the Olivos family, back when Dave Ream was in charge of Redevelopment in Santa Ana, before he had become our City Manager. Click here to read more about that.
We cannot undo those past wrongs, but I am happy that Lluy has undertaken the task of restoring the Yost to its past greatness. I support this effort and urge my readers to do the same.
Below is a personal message that Lluy recently sent to his Facebook friends regarding this meeting:
Hello friends, neighbors and supporters,
On Monday Aug. 23 at 6:30PM, the Ritz and Yost is scheduled to be on the City of Santa Ana’s Planning Commission meeting agenda at City Hall. The commission will be voting on permit conditions essential to our operations.
For the past two years, the property owners, my business partner and I have worked diligently to renovate the historic Yost Theater into a world-class entertainment facility. We are aiming to be fully operational by June of 2011.
We are requesting your support by attending and/or speaking at the hearing. As we are expecting some opposition, it is imperative for us to show considerable community support. Please let me know if you are interested in attending or have questions.
City Hall Address:
20 Civic Center Plaza
Santa Ana 92703
Dennis Lluy, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ritz and Yost Inc
307 N. Spurgeon St.
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For the past 18 months, I have been transforming the Yost Theater into a world-class performance venue. It will be fully complete, along with a restaurant, in 2010.
We are finally at a stage to host international touring acts. This Saturday Nov. 7 we are proud to present Mum, an experimental Icelandic pop group whose music is characterized by soft vocals, eccentric beats and colorful effects, and a variety of traditional and unconventional instruments. Hildur Gudnadottir of Mum opens the evening with a solo performance followed by Icelandic group Sin Fang Bous.